Ford Is Bringing the Bronco vs. Wrangler Fight to Jeep’s Home Turf

Five off-road Bronco concepts are headed to the annual Easter Jeep Safari

Custom Ford Bronco made with 4 Wheel Parts in Moab, Utah
This custom 4 Wheel Parts Bronco, and four other Ford off-roaders, will face off with Jeep.

When we said Ford is waging war on the Jeep Wrangler with the new Bronco, we meant it, but it turns out we were more right than we knew. The automaker announced today it’s bringing five custom Broncos to crash Jeep’s annual off-road event in Utah.

The event in question is the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, which is actually run by a local group called the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, not Jeep itself. But the trail-riding celebration, which is currently running through the holiday on Sunday, celebrates one 4×4 brand in particular, and Jeep uses it to showcase a variety of concepts every year. But since it’s not run by Jeep or exclusive to Jeep owners, Ford decided to get in on the fun.

From the moment Ford unveiled the new Bronco and Bronco Sport models last summer, it was clear the company would focus on accessories for owners — campers, off-roaders, overlanders, general outdoorsmen — offering over 200 factory add-ons for the standard model and over 100 for the Sport from the time of launch. But the five concepts headed to Moab showcase the second phase of the rollout, as the automaker has partnered with aftermarket experts RTR Vehicles, ARB 4×4 Accessories and 4 Wheel Parts to build them.

Custom Ford Bronco off-road concepts for the Easter Jeep Safari
Ford is bringing these five concepts to the Easter Jeep Safari. Jeep has four.

From RTR, the company founded by professional driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., there’s a Badlands edition with a 3D-printed grille, custom yellow and black graphics and rock sliders. ARB also started with the Badlands trim, but adds their air compressor for quick tire inflation, as well as a not-so-subtle logo on both sets of doors and the hood. As for 4 Wheel Parts, they built our two favorites: a red Black Diamond Bronco with a winch and roof tent, and a black Bronco Sport with its own rooftop camping setup. And just for the hell of it, Ford took the doors off its Outer Banks trim model with its off-road-specific Sasquatch package — and that roof? It’s retractable. Surprisingly, they’re not showcasing any builds on a two-door Bronco.

There is one reason Jeep doesn’t have anything to fear from these drool-worthy SUVs: you can’t even buy regular Broncos. As we noted in our recent review of the Bronco Sport (the more subdued model which actually is available now), the classic Bronco has been delayed due to fallout from the pandemic, with deliveries not beginning until this summer and some models not seeing a release until 2022.

In other words, when the Jeep concepts face off against the Bronco concepts this Saturday, this biggest day of the Easter Jeep Safari, it’ll be the battle of the pipe dreams.

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